CUUC Bird Walk Report: Sun Nov 1

Bird Report November 1, 2015

Today is All Saints Day, and to accompany the theme of the service this morning, we highlighted death.   The opening reading was:
All the birds of the air
fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
when they heaed the bell toll
for poor Cock Robin

This comes from the nursery rhyme, "Who Killed cock Robin." One meaning of this poem identifies that "Cock Robin" is a metaphor for spring, and that extended winter weather is upon us.  That certainly is not the case this fall, although last Sunday when I came out of the Sanctuary it was snowing!  Today though was mild with raining orange and red marvels carpeting our walk around the CUUC grounds.

Though we pondered death today, based on the numbers and kinds of birds we saw, the better question was, "Who invited Cock Robin?"  There were at least 68 of them, and probably more but we didn't want to double count any individuals.  The ground were thick with them as they were enjoying the cherries, crab apples, and hack berries that they can find here. 

Another important question that is for all of us here at CUUC, "Who is killing the birds we find dead around the building?" The answer is, our building is.  Over the last two years I have found several dead birds that have died upon impact on our windows and just in the last month, 2 injured birds were seen - one hit the front window by the door, and another the sanctuary window near the piano. We are not alone in having wonderful windows with a view, for scientists estimate that up to 1 billion birds die a year hitting windows in the USA.

Several concerned individuals, including the 4th/5th and 6th/7th grade Religious Education classes, desire to reduce the harm caused to birds on our grounds.  Several of us met with the Building and Grounds Committee today to discuss the "bird plan," which will probably involve testing various kinds of visual barriers on our windows. You may have noticed some very experimental films placed on some of the sanctuary windows as we test what might work best for our community.  These films have also been placed on all the lower Parsonage windows, as birds have been hitting there rather frequently.  Stay tuned for further developments, and if you have any ideas or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Our next bird walk on the grounds is November 15th, Sunday, at 8:30 a.m. beginning at the Parsonage. There will also be a Bird Retreat on Saturday, November 22, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., and then a bird walk at Tarrytown lakes Sunday,  November 23, from 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

For more information, or to report bird sightings on the grounds, please do contact me:

In hope for all life,

Rev. LoraKim Joyner

Here's the species list for the day, including a new one for the property - a Northern Harrier. In total we had 104 individuals of 11 avian species, 3 rodent species, and one ape species.

1 Mourning dove
68 American robins
15 Cedar waxwings
4 Black-capped chickadee
1 White-breasted nuthatch
3 Blue jays
2 crows
1 Northern harrier
2 Red-bellied woodpeckers
2 Downy woodpeckers
5 White-throated sparrows
2 Gray squirrels
1 Chipmunks
2 Red squirrels

2 humans

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